Aviva Kempner Biography

“Aviva Kempner has been making independent films since 1979. A child of a Holocaust survivor and a US Army officer, Ms. Kempner was born in Berlin, Germany after World War II. This legacy inspired Ms. Kempner to produce and co-write PARTISANS OF VILNA and executive produce the 1989 Grammy-award nominated record, “”Partisans of Vilna: The Songs of World War II Jewish Resistance.””

Kempner is also the writer, director and producer of “”The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg”” (2000), a documentary about the Jewish baseball slugger. The film was awarded top honors by the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The film also received a George Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy.

Upset with the 2000 election results, Kempner made the comic short, “”Today I Vote for My Joey”” from the script she wrote about Election Day in Palm Beach for the AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women. She also wrote the narration for “”Promises to Keep””, an Academy Award®-nominated documentary on the homeless. Kempner is currently working on “”Gertrude Berg: America’s Molly Goldberg””, a documentary on ‘s favorite radio and television personality.

A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, DC Mayor’s Art Award, Women of Vision award and Media Arts Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, Kempner is also the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. She continues to lecture about cinema and write film criticism. Kempner is also the author of chapters in the books “”Daughters of Absence”” and “”What Israel Means to Me.”””